#1 Benni McCarthy: The person
Benni McCarthy doesn't mince his words when addressing the media, and since his appointment as Eric Tinkler’s successor, he has somewhat triggered a mixture of emotions from many. To some, he has come across as passionate, while others perceive him as arrogant for his vigour to voice his opinion. Despite being at the helm for only seven months, the Citizens manager has already provided many unforgettable comments, and in his latest, he said: "If that’s how I look then I wouldn’t like to see how you lot look starring at the log table." This was his response to a jibe thrown at him by Ajax Cape Town fans. Here's our pick of nine of his best quotes throughout his stint so far.
#2 FIRST FIVE MATCHES
McCarthy got his tenure off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Polokwane City in an MTN8 quarter-final clash in August last year. This was followed by a 3-1 win over Platinum Stars and a hat-trick of wins over Gavin Hunt's Bidvest Wits in a league encounter and a two-legged MTN8 semi-final affair. After the win against Polokwane, McCarthy revealed that he visited the bathroom a lot prior to kick-off. "I couldn't sleep the night before, I don't know why because usually, I sleep early, it was great though because I was surrounded by my family. But strange enough, I was also up very early, and as we got closer to kick-off, I started visiting the bathroom more. That's how nervous I was."
#3 FIRST DEFEAT
After five consecutive wins, McCarthy tasted defeat for the first time against Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium. This was followed by another 1-0 loss to Orlando Pirates six days later. But McCarthy modestly said that he expected Chiefs to sit back in the encounter.
“Not surprised I guess when you are under that much pressure and people are on your case, of course, you need to take a different approach and they’ve clearly. They’ve watched us because they had a lot of free time to themselves while we were busy fighting it out. So, I think they had enough time to see where things could go in their favour against us.”
#4 THE FIRST RANT: ‘You mustn’t push’
McCarthy was caught on TV swearing at an Ajax player following a foul on Teko Modise in the first iKapa Derby of the campaign. The Bafana Bafana legend explained that his controversial reaction and later apologised for his foul-mouthed rant.
#5 GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT
The former Porto marksman narrowly missed out on historically clinching his first silverware just nine matches into his coaching career when his side surrendered a 1-0 lead and ended up losing the MTN8 trophy to SuperSport United on penalties. McCarthy was gracious in defeat and shouldered the blame for his side’s collapse.
In his post-match intervew, McCarthy reckoned he should have brought in Ayanda Patosi to kill of the game, but was hit by excitement and wanted to be defensive.
“I took Teko off when I should have brought Patosi in. And there I accept that maybe inexperienced kicked on or the excitement when you see that its closer to the 90 minutes and you decide to close the midfield and at that back. Maybe you could can hold win it and be remarkable in your first season as a manager. Maybe I got carried away a little bit,” said McCarthy.
“I brought Putche when I should have brought Patosi because they were clearly on the back foot, you saw the damage that Teko Modise was doing.
“I accept that maybe I did not the right substitutions at that time.”
- Shuaib Walters
#6 TONGUE SLIP
Visibly frustrated, McCarthy said his days of experimenting were over after a 1-0 defeat at home to Bloemfontein Celtic. McCarthy watched helplessly as City registered a single shot on target in their dismal loss to Celtic in a match in which he made eight changes from the side that lost the MTN8 final against SuperSport United. He said he was worried that his team had played 120 minutes in the MTN-8 final three days earlier, but hinted he might have overdone it with the number of changes.
“I’ve got some hard decisions to make‚ but I think now it is just a little bit easier than what it was. I gambled and in this league, you can’t gamble against any team‚” McCarthy said at the time.
#7 THE SECOND RANT: ‘A KLAP and the COW’
Flummoxed by the defeats to Celtic and Chippa United, the rookie coach lost his cool and said some of his senior players needed a ‘klap’ whilst also calling a match official ‘a cow’.
"We were again dominant in the first half and you think you get through to players. All I said to them before the second half was not to get sucked in, ride the wave and play our usual game. Relax and don't concede, but they just went to sleep, man. As a coach, you have to be responsible with what you say but I think our senior players need a wake-up call sometimes. A good slap or two! I couldn't believe what happened. It seems the team stayed in the dressing room and I don't know who came on the field for us in the second half," he said.
Quizzed about the referee’s performance, McCarthy said: "Don’t ask me about that cow!"
He was later slapped with an R50,000 fine for the comment.
#8 ‘CAPE TOWN CITY ARE TARGETED BY REFEREES’
McCarthy, while full of praise for his side's brave performance in the 1-0 win away to Mamelodi Sundowns, he was irritated by the referee for issuing yellow cards to four of his players while no Sundowns player was cautioned. He would later say the referees are ‘killing’ the game by not respecting the hard work that is done by coaches.
“We are not just playing against the opposition but we are playing against the referees also. I am tired of being modest. I am tired of being afraid to say what I want to say because you have to have respect for the officials but they don’t respect coaches and our game. They ‘kill’ players‚ and now you must be modest and you can’t have an opinion. I think the referees must also take responsibility. We (coaches) get fired for not winning and why can referees do whatever they want and keep the luxury of their jobs,” McCarthy said at the time.
#9 INCENSED AS REFEREE TAKES SELFIES WITH SUNDOWNS PLAYERS
McCarthy reacted with disbelief after spotting referee Christopher Harrison taking selfies with Sundowns players after the same match, reported SowetanLive. Benni was upset when he saw Harrison posing for pictures with some of the Brazilians players and also having a long chat with midfielder Percy Tau outside the Sundowns dressing room.
“They (referees) come out of their dressing room smiling‚ look‚ [pointing a finger at Harrison]. If you think I am joking‚ look at that and tell me if it’s normal," he said.
#10 BENNI IS A BABY
And most recently, Benni attempted to confront Muhsin Ertugral for influencing referee Thando Ndzandzeka's decision after Kwanda Mngonyama was issued with a yellow card for entering the field of play before Craig Martin made his way out the pitch. This led to the former Bafana Bafana striker’s sending off by the referee.
Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral later referred to McCarthy as a baby who needs a lollipop.
"He needs to learn‚ he is still a baby... next time I will bring lollipops so he can play with it. Benni needs also to learn a little bit... he was a great player but he also needs to learn how to behave a bit on the side (in the technical area).
He took no time to respond to this with a sarcastic jibe via twitter which read: "Yeah, I’m still a baby when it comes to coaching, but a very difficult baby to beat, it seems. So, I must just shut up when my team or players are getting bullied on the field of play? Don’t know what SICK world all you lot think I’m living in if I’m going to sit still and be screwed over."